Wade Allison scores 1st goal but Carter Hart-less Flyers have more struggles with Capitals

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Jordan Hall
·5 min read
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Allison scores but Hart-less Flyers experience more struggles with Capitals originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia

The Flyers started Saturday's game without Carter Hart and ended it with more troubles against the Capitals.

Hart was scratched from his scheduled start because of a lower-body injury and Washington was once again too much for the Flyers, who lost, 6-3, at the Wells Fargo Center.

The Flyers (20-18-6) dropped to 1-5-0 against the Capitals this season and have allowed them to score 4.83 goals per game. Last season, including the round-robin matchup, the Flyers went 4-0-1 against Washington and yielded only eight goals.

Different team, different season.

The Flyers' faint postseason hopes continue to fade. Alain Vigneault's club is in sixth place and eight points out of a playoff spot with 12 games remaining.

"We were second on everything — second on pucks, second on making plays," Vigneault said. "They were the far better team."

The Capitals (29-12-4), who had a good number of fans in the building, scored an empty-net goal to punctuate the victory.

Alex Ovechkin's greatness was on full display. He blasted a pair of his patented slap shots for power play goals.

The first came under four minutes into the game.

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The second came just after the Flyers had tied the game at 2-2 in the middle stanza. Nicolas Aube-Kubel put Washington on the power play with a hooking infraction, his 17th penalty this season; that's six more than any other Flyer and far too many for a fourth-liner. It very well could kick him back out of the lineup when the Flyers are healthy.

Ovechkin made Aube-Kubel pay by scoring four seconds into the power play opportunity.

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The 35-year-old superstar has 730 career goals and is two away from passing Marcel Dionne for fifth on the NHL's all-time list.

Zdeno Chara, the towering 44-year-old defenseman, had a gutsy sequence in which he blocked a shot but stayed on the ice for the entirety of the Flyers' power play at the end of the middle frame. Chara was gassed and in pain as the second-period horn sounded. The Capitals killed off the penalty and held a 4-2 lead.

Two great players.

Chara has had a Matt Niskanen-like impact on Washington. Ovechkin had a three-point game, Evgeny Kuznetsov recorded a goal and two assists, while John Carlson finished with four helpers.

• In his second game and first at the Wells Fargo Center, Wade Allison scored goal No. 1 of his NHL career. Allison finished a pretty passing play by Claude Giroux and Kevin Hayes on the power play to draw the Flyers within 4-3 in the third period.

Allison let out a huge pump of his fist. He got a good look Saturday on the team's second line with Giroux and Joel Farabee. The 23-year-old power forward has done plenty to keep himself in the lineup.

"I have to go out and buy Hayesy a dinner because it doesn't get much easier than that one," Allison said.

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But every time the Flyers made things hairy for the Capitals, Washington responded. Conor Sheary ballooned the Capitals' lead back to two only two minutes and 13 seconds after Allison's tally.

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• The Flyers gave up 38 power play goals in 69 games last season.

They've given up 36 in 44 games this season.

A drastically different penalty kill this season after it was greatly improved in 2019-20.

• Alex Lyon had the unenvious assignment of having his number called late to face Ovechkin and the NHL's second-highest goal-scoring club.

"It was exceptionally difficult," Lyon said of finding out around 11 a.m. that he would be starting instead of backing up. "I really like my preparation, I take pride in my preparation. But at the same time, that's what I get paid to do and that's my role on this team. It just goes with the territory."

The 28-year-old Lyon made his first NHL start in 14 and a half months. He converted 35 saves on 40 shots.

Against the Flyers this season, Capitals netminder Ilya Samsonov is 5-0-0 with 145 saves on 157 shots.

• James van Riemsdyk and Ivan Provorov scored the Flyers' other goals.

Van Riemsdyk had a heckler in his ear during the second period. A clearly audible "nice shift, JVR!" was shouted a few times. Not long after, van Riemsdyk was back for another shift and knotted the game at 2-2. Washington lost track of van Riemsdyk, who took advantage of a breakaway to end his 17-game goalless skid.

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Provorov tied the game at 1-1 with one second left in the first stanza. The 24-year-old has 20 goals over the last two seasons. The Predators' Roman Josi had 21 entering Saturday.

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Nolan Patrick and Tanner Laczynski did not play. Patrick was hit in the head by a shot on Thursday and Laczynski has a lower-body injury.

• The Flyers are right back at it Sunday when they host the Islanders (6:30 p.m. ET/NBCSN).

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